While I was out counting birds and chasing butterflies, my friend Jackie Riley scored with a major plant find in Ohio. Jackie is the official butterfly counter at Kitty Todd, and if I lived any closer to Toledo I would be in the field with her every weekend, 'cause she is always finding something exciting!
Last week it was a beautiful fall flower, the Soapwort Gentian, Gentiana saponaria. The Division of Natural Areas and Preserves' Heritage database lists this endangered gentian in Lucas County currently, and has pre-1960 records from Clermont, Jackson, and Ross counties.
Soapwort Gentians have been known to hybridize with the more common Bottle Gentian, Gentian andrewsii. The Illinois Wildflower site has an informative article here.
This Weedpicker would love to see both species side-by-side to get a real feel for them, but this photo is a nice look at plant rarity I can only hope to see in person someday. Kitty Todd... it is an amazing place!